Sign up for our free weekday bulletin.

Sarnia asks province to do something about sewage smell

Published on

Tara Jeffrey
Sarnia has asked Ontario to pressure the company responsible for an ongoing sewage stench that’s periodically plagued the city for nearly three months.

The community has “lost its patience” with the ongoing smell, David Jackson told the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks in a letter last week.

“The odour is unacceptable to our residents,” wrote Jackson, Sarnia’s general manager of engineering and operations.

“It is having a significant negative impact on people’s quality of life.”

Complaints about the foul smell — stemming from what’s known as the Scott Road sewage lagoons — have been pouring in since mid-April.

Brantford-based Wessuc Inc. and its affiliate Shire Corporation own the 30-acre property and operate a waste disposal and transfer site there.

Company officials, who were expected to address city council Monday, did not respond to a request for comment.

The company did respond to earlier complaints, pointing to several measures taken to mitigate the odour, including laying straw over a lagoon, limiting the number of loads coming in, and removing 11,000 cubic metres of material from the site.

“It does not appear that the mitigation measures have had any positive impact on odour reduction,” Jackson said, noting the implementation was supposed to take up to six weeks.

“We are now past the six-week timeline… we continue to receive widespread complaints every day there is a south wind.

The city asked the Ministry to take stronger enforcement action against the company “to get the odour issue under control as soon as possible.”

Ministry spokesperson Gary Wheeler said officials there continue to respond to complaints and remain in regular contact with Wessuc Inc.

“The company has taken actions to address the odours and is considering long-term options and developing an odour management plan,” said Wheeler.

“Ministry staff will continue to monitor the situation, including the effectiveness of the company’s actions and the need for any additional enforcement action.”




More like this